Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Revisiting The Knack's final albums

photo by Gary Fishman
While The Knack's debut album, and its hit “My Sharona” were two of 1979’s biggest records, the band continued to record and perform into the 21st century.

Omnivore Recordings is proud to bookend the story begun with Havin’ a Rave Up! Live in Los Angeles, 1979 and Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Good for You: The Fieger/Averre Demos by reissuing the Knack’s last three official releases, beginning May 19.

1998’s Zoom was the band’s first album in five years, spurred on by “My Sharona” charting for the second time, 15 years after its initial release, due to its inclusion in the film Reality Bites. Original members Doug Fieger, Berton Averre, and Prescott Niles were joined by drummer Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons, Frank Zappa).

The album was a return to form, and was often called his favorite Knack album by Fieger. This reissue features five bonus tracks, four of which are previously unissued. Of particular note is an unheard version of “My Sharona” with Bozzio behind the kit. Zoom will be available on CD and digitally on May 19.

According to bassist Niles in the liner notes: “The only way for the band to get the energy and passion back was to play some live shows. We had a new manager, the late Danny Sugerman, to help guide us. The key to our comeback was two shows at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. We knew we had it after we gave a prime Knack performance that got continued encore shouts. We needed a drummer to record with, and Terry Bozzio’s name came to our attention . . . We were inspired by Terry’s brilliant playing and joyfully started recording the full album.”

Normal as the Next Guy was released in 2001, as the band took off on its Rock ’n’ Roll Fun House tour, and featured 11 new tracks, as well as a cover of Serious Fun’s “One Day at a Time,” which was climbing the charts as their post-Capitol label, Charisma, began to fold. The CD and digital version will be released on June 9, and features three previously unissued songwriting demos from Fieger.

From Niles’ liner notes: “'Normal as the Next Guy,' in hindsight, was the bridge that helped return us Knack exiles to our homeland. After the rightful and bitter disappointment of the experience with our comeback album, 'Zoom,' all Berton, Doug, and I could do was splinter off and consume ourselves with our own musical projects. We did our best collective work on 'Zoom' and believed our fans, and maybe even the music aficionados, would hear it and possibly get it, and us, once again. No such luck! . . . However, playing brought us together again as a group, and we did many shows and tours after that strange night. Doug was feeling inspired and said that we would soon make our best album and leave our legacy of greatness. But sadly, Doug’s diminishing health did not provide us the opportunity. So Normal as the Next Guy should be remembered as a good album and the start of The Knack’s last page.”

Live From the Rock ’n’ Roll Fun House was the soundtrack to the DVD of the same name, featuring the Knack performing in an imaginary 1960s television show. Essentially a live greatest hits package, the band plays material from their previous five albums, and this reissue adds two from Normal as the Next Guy, recorded for the program, but never used. It hits stores on CD and Digital on July 14.

Live From The Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun House offers fans everything they love about The Knack – stellar songs and a rocking performance. While this would be the last album released by the group before the passing of Doug Fieger, it represents why they maintained a rabid fan base. They were an incredible live band.

All three reissues contain updated artwork, new liner notes, and commentary and remembrances from the band’s Berton Averre and Prescott Niles. Together they form the definitive statement on the final chapter of the Knack’s story.

Zoom Track Listing:

1. Pop Is Dead
2. Can I Borrow A Kiss
3. Smilin’
4. Ambition
5. Mister Magazine
6. Everything I Do
7. Love Is All There Is
8. Terry & Julie Step Out
9. Harder On You
10. You Gotta Be There
11. Good Enough
12. In Blue Tonight
13. Tomorrow
14. (All In The) All In All
Bonus Tracks:
15. She Says
16. Mister Magazine (Demo)
17. Harder On You (Demo)
18. (All In The) All In All (Demo)
19. My Sharona (Terry Bozzio Version)

Normal As The Next Guy Track Listing:

1. Les Girls
2. Disillusion Town
3. Girl I Never Lied To You
4. Normal As The Next Guy
5. Spiritual Pursuit
6. It’s Not Me
7. One Day At A Time
8. Seven Days Of Heaven
9. Dance Of Romance
10. Reason To Live
11. A World Of My Own
12. The Man On The Beach
Bonus Tracks:
13. Seven Days Of Heaven (demo)*
14. Spiritual Pursuit (demo)*
15. Reason To Live (demo)*

Live From The Rock ’n’ Roll Fun House Track Listing:

1. Pop Is Dead
2. Baby Talks Dirty
3. Oh Tara
4. Can I Borrow A Kiss
5. Another Lousy Day In Paradise
6. Good Girls Don’t
7. One Day At A Time
8. It’s Not Me*
9. Siamese Twins (The Monkey And Me)
10. Harder On You
11. Sweet Dreams
12. Seven Days Of Heaven*
13. That’s What The Little Girls Do
14. (She’s So) Selfish
15. My Sharona
16. (Havin A) Rave Up
17. Tequila/Break On Through (To The Other Side)

Watch the trailer:

Roger Waters’ Amused to Death gets remastered this summer

Roger Waters’ album Amused to Death returns in a remastered release from Columbia/Legacy Recordings on July 24. 

“I’m remembering the record from [over] 20 years ago, that most of what I had to say then sadly still pertains today and is maybe even more relevant to our predicament as people in 2015 even than it was in 1992,” says Roger Waters.

A look at an entertainment-obsessed society, Amused to Death addresses issues that have only grown in complexity and urgency over the past two decades. 

The 2015 editions feature a new 5.1 surround remix of the album on high-definition Blu-ray audio and a new remastered stereo mix completed by longtime Roger Waters/Pink Floyd collaborator and co-producer, James Guthrie. The cover and gatefold art has been updated for 2015 by Sean Evans, the creative director of Waters’ 2010-2013 “The Wall Live” tour and movie.

Produced by Roger Waters and Patrick Leonard, Amused to Death features guitarist Jeff Beck on 8 songs. Guest vocalists include Don Henley (“It’s a Miracle”), Rita Coolidge (“Amused to Death”) and soul singer P.P. Arnold (“Perfect Sense” Parts I and II).
Also contributing were Waters’ longtime collaborators, guitarist Andy Fairweather Low and drummer Graham Broad; percussionist Luis Conte; and Pat Leonard, who played keyboards on several tracks.
The album reunited Waters with late composer/arranger Michael Kamen, who supervised orchestral arrangements for The Wall, Waters’ semi-autographical concept album with Pink Floyd. Kamen arranged and conducted the National Philharmonic Orchestra Limited’s contributions to the songs “Too Much Rope” and “What God Wants, Part III.”

The 2015 editions of Amused to Death will be available on:
CD /Blu-ray
Hi-res digital download
2LP 200 gram vinyl (pressed at Quality Record Pressings)
Limited edition, numbered 2LP picture disc vinyl.
Legacy Recordings has collaborated with Analogue Productions/Acoustic Sounds in the United States on the release of the 2LP 200 gram vinyl as well as SACD and DSD download audio products.

Amused to Death is available for pre-order at where fans will have access to an exclusive music and merchandise bundle including their choice of an Amused to Death t-shirt or sweatshirt.

Roger Waters on Amused to Death announcement video

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard team up again

Legacy Recordings has announced the June 2 release of Django and Jimmie, the new studio album collaboration from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

"Me and Merle got a new album coming out called Django and Jimmie and the title track is about Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers," said Willie Nelson. "Both of those guys were very influential in both of our careers."

According to Merle Haggard, there's "new songs, a couple of classics and Willie sang like he was a teenager."

For Django and Jimmie, Willie Nelson's sixth studio album release for Legacy since 2012, the legendary singer-songwriter joined forces with longtime friend and collaborator Merle Haggard to reignite the musical chemistry that made the pair's Pancho & Lefty a honky-tonk blockbuster and America's #1 Country Album following its release in January 1983.

Driven by a title track penned by Townes Van Zandt (and arguably the songwriter's most familiar song), the critically-acclaimed top-selling Pancho & Lefty solidified the reputations of both Willie and Merle as among the most formidable and influential artists in outlaw country music while topping the Billboard Country charts for seven non-consecutive weeks between April and October 1983.

The success of Pancho & Lefty opened the doors for a number of successful follow-up projects including 1987's Seashores Of Old Mexico album, 2007's double album Last Of The Breed with Ray Price, and the Merle Haggard-penned "A Horse Called Music" (the lead track on 2012's Heroes, Willie Nelson's first album for Legacy).

Helmed by Nelson's longtime producer, collaborator and friend Buddy Cannon, Django and Jimmie premieres 14 brand-new studio recordings including: "Django and Jimmie," a dual tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, country music's mythic "Singing Brakeman"; the reflective and meditative "Live This Long"; "Missing Ol' Johnny Cash," an homage to country music's original Man in Black featuring guest vocals from Bobby Bare; a sublime interpretation of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"; and the future outlaw country classic "Unfair Weather Friend," written by rising songsmiths Marla Cannon-Goodman (Buddy Cannon's daughter) and Ward Davis.

A legendary country music producer and songwriter in his own right, Buddy helped pen five of the album's tracks, including "It's All Going To Pot" (a rollicking anthem for the emerging 21st century cannabis culture) and four cowrites with Willie: "Alice In Hulaland," "It's Only Money," "Where Dreams Come To Die," and "Driving The Herd."

Among the 14 essential recordings on Django and Jimmie, Nelson and Haggard each pay musical tribute to the other through heartfelt solo performances: Willie singing Merle's "Somewhere Between" and Merle covering Willie's "Family Bible."

Willie sums up the duo's new collaboration simply saying, "It's good music, I got a good feeling about it."

Track listing: 

1. Django and Jimmie – written by Jimmy Melton and Jeff Prince
2. It’s All Going To Pot – written by Buddy Cannon, Jamey Johnson and Larry Shell
3. Unfair Weather Friend - written by Marla Cannon-Goodman and Ward Davis
4. Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash - written by Merle Haggard
5. Live This Long – written by Shawn Camp and Marv Green
6. Alice In Hulaland - written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
7. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright - written by Bob Dylan
8. Family Bible – written by Walter M. Breeland, Paul F. Buskirk, and Claude Gray
9. It’s Only Money - written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
10. Swinging Doors - written by Merle Haggard
11. Where Dreams Come To Die - written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
12. Somewhere Between – written by Merle Haggard
13. Driving The Herd - written by Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon
14. The Only Man Wilder Than Me - written by Merle Haggard

In related news, Willie Nelson's new memoir It's a Long Story (with David Ritz) arrives on May 5. 

Nelson grew up in the depths of the Great Depression. He was born in 1933 and raised by his grandparents in the small farm town of Abbott, Texas, population just 300. He began singing in dance halls and honky-tonks at the age of 13 to escape the brutal work of picking cotton in the fields of Texas.

But Nelson was destined for greatness despite the struggles he faced along the way. More than a half-century ago, Nelson found his voice and a devout audience, and firmly established himself as a songwriter. He went on to write some of the most popular and enduring songs of all time, including "On the Road Again," "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground," "Crazy," "Night Life," and "Funny How Time Slips Away," and to record classics like "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Bring Me Sunshine," and "Always on My Mind."

On the verge of turning 82, Nelson leaves no stone unturned as he shares his full story. From his drive to write music and poetry to the women in his life; from his collaborations to his monumental tax troubles and how he logistically and spiritually prevailed, to the founding of Farm Aid and his recollections of the artists who played and how they raised the consciousness of the entire world-every unforgettable moment is recounted.
Here, you'll read about the candid history of Nashville in the '60s, where he failed to fit the mold of the established Nashville Sound, and about his reinvention in the '70s, when he moved back to Texas and found a way to forge a musical bond between the hippies and the rednecks, marking the birth of progressive country music. Nelson also delves into his history with alcohol and tobacco abuse, leading to his five-decade-long use of marijuana and his advocacy for its benefits-from meditation to medicine.

The book includes Nelson's never-before-told stories behind the making of his most successful records: Yesterday's Wine, Phases and Stages, Shotgun Willie, and Stardust. He also shares memorable portraits of his close friends and collaborators Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, and Waylon Jennings. He tells road stories about crisscrossing the world with the Highwaymen-Nelson, Jennings, Cash and Kristofferson-as they enriched the world with their powerful brew of American roots music.

Nelson is an American singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. He spends his time between Austin, Texas, and Maui, Hawaii.

David Ritz is the only four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award. He won the 2013 ASCAP Timothy White award for outstanding musical biography for his book with Buddy Guy. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

The audiobook version with the Introduction read by Willie Nelson will be available from Hachette Audio on May 5.

By Willie Nelson
with David Ritz
Little, Brown and Company
May 5, 2015
Hardcover | $30.00
ISBN: 978-0-316-40355-9

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Melissa Etheridge Live in L.A. coming to CD, home video

Melissa Etheridge will release the electrifying live concert experience A Little Bit Of Me: Live In L.A., on CD, Blu-ray/CD, DVD/CD, as well as a digital edition, and a deluxe digital edition available exclusively on iTunes, June 9, via Shout! Factory.

Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray combos include interviews with Melissa Etheridge, members of her band, and special guests Delta Rae, “Backstage Pass,” a behind-the-scenes look at the Orpheum performance, and a photo gallery.

On December 12, 2014, at the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Melissa Etheridge played the final night of her national This Is M.E. tour. The show featured Melissa and her band in top form, performing new songs from her 13th studio album, This Is M.E., such as “Take My Number” and “A Little Bit of Me,” as well as classic hits including “Come To My Window,” “I’m The Only One” and “Like The Way I Do.”

Etheridge was born and raised in Leavenworth, Kansas, and returned to that time for much of her inspiration on the new album, particularly the tracks “Take My Number,” and “Stranger Road.”

Melissa Etheridge is on tour this summer, visit for dates.

Track list:

1. I Won’t Be Alone Tonight
2. I Want To Come Over
3. Chrome Plated Heart
4. Take My Number
5. Come To My Window
6. Ruins
7. A Little Bit Of Me
8. If I Wanted To
9. Meet Me In The Back
10. Bring Me Some Water
11. I'm The Only One*
12. Like The Way I Do (Bonus track on Blu-ray, DVD and Deluxe Digital Edition)
13. Monster* (Bonus track on Blu-ray, DVD and Deluxe Digital Edition)

*featuring backup vocals by special guests Delta Rae

Bonus features include:
· Interviews With Melissa Etheridge, Her Band And Delta Rae
· Backstage Pass – A Behind The Scenes Look At The Orpheum Performance
· Photo Gallery


Arden Altino – Keyboards
Jessica Antonette – Background Vocals
Melissa Etheridge – Vocals, Guitar
Brandyn Porter – Guitar
Ava Raiin – Background Vocals
Blair Sinta – Drums
Jerry Wonda – Bass

Paul Weller photo book set for June

Set for publication in June, Paul Weller's Into Tomorrow is a pictorial record of his solo years from 1992 onward. Captioned with his handwritten text, Weller has selected over 800 photos taken by friend and photographer, Lawrence Watson.

Nearly 300 pages will be published in a leather-bound volume with previously unheard live recordings on an accompanying 10" vinyl disc. Housed in an acrylic slipcase, each numbered book will be signed by Paul Weller and Lawrence Watson. Only 2,000 copies worldwide, available from of 'Into Tomorrow' by Paul Weller with photos by Lawrence Watson

"When I look back to the early shots from 1992, I was starting to write and play (and, importantly, want to play) again. I'd been 'away' for a while and didn't know what, if anything, to expect," said the musician.

It is Paul Weller's visual chronicle of his 22-year solo career. Annotated with his own text captions, Weller is retracing his steps in 800 mostly unseen images, now being shared by photographer, Lawrence Watson.

"So many memories come back. Some of the pictures make me mourn the passing of time. Some of the times I couldn't wait to get away from. Lawrence has been there to document most of them. He is part of our crew," said Weller. 

He and Watson are signing each of the 2,000 numbered copies in the limited edition book and vinyl set.

Weller has reviewed thousands of prints to decide the photographs that make up the book. His recording sessions are seen from an insider's perspective, at work on albums such as Wild Wood. Similarly, Weller's tours - from Amsterdam to New York and from the O2 to 100 Club. Shoots have produced album covers such as Modern Classics 1 and 2, As Is Now and Studio 150. Videos captured by Watson have included 'The Changingman' and 'Out of the Sinking.' Weller and Watson are now revealing the outtakes. 

"Lawrence is always thinking ahead, looking for a backdrop or a certain light, looking for ideas," said Weller.

The pair's working relationship began in 1988. Weller was impressed with Watson's photography used for the Confessions of a Pop Group album cover. Since The Style Council, Paul Weller has released 11 studio albums, five live albums, 39 singles and three EPs - nearly all of which feature Watson's photography.

Pre-order now from U.S. Book Launch June 2015.

The upcoming album Saturns Pattern was recorded in Weller's own Black Barn Studio and produced by Jan "Stan" Kybert (Oasis, Bjork, Massive Attack, etc.). Weller and Kybert have worked together extensively in the past on previous albums.

Saturns Pattern is currently available for pre-order HERE in a variety of formats: Standard CD, Deluxe CD/DVD set, vinyl album, and Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set with CD/DVD/vinyl album.The digital formats will be available in standard and deluxe editions with the deluxe edition featuring previously unreleased bonus tracks. iTunes versions are exclusively mastered. Those who pre-order will receive an instant download of the track "White Sky." Watch the video for "White Sky" here. Click here to view the video for the album track "Long Time."

Comprised of a strong nine-song cycle of futuristic sounds and styles, the new album's drums were recorded by Ben Gordelier, keyboards and backing vocals by Andy Crofts both from Weller's band, additional guitar parts were contributed by Steve Cradock (Paul Weller Band, Ocean Colour Scene), Josh McClorey (The Strypes), and Steve Brookes, with whom Weller formed the short-lived original line-up of The Jam in 1972.

"It's a little bit of a leap into the unknown really," says Weller. "I don't know where it will take me... It's got a lot of movement to it. I think that it's going to be a bit of an inspiration to people," he recently quoted in Q Magazine (U.K.).

As previously mentioned, Paul Weller hitting the road this summer. VIP packages and pre-sale tickets available now:
Paul Weller Premium Package includes-
- 1 General Admission ticket
- 1 Exclusive Litho Signed by Paul Weller

Click here for details. Please use the following username and password to log in:
Username: paulweller Password: saturnspattern

U.S. tour: 

June 9 9:30 Club Washington, DC
June 10 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA
June 12 Terminal 5 New York, NY
June 13 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
June 14 Upstate Concert Hall Clifton Park, NY
June 15 Danforth Music Hall Toronto, ON
June 17 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
June 18 The Vogue Indianapolis, IN
June 19 Mr. Smalls Theatre Pittsburgh, PA
June 20 Music Hall Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY

Asleep at the Wheel's all-star tribute to Bob Wills

Aerosmith news

Following their successful 2014 Let Rock Rule tour, Aerosmith will return to the road in June with their Blue Army Tour 2015.

The trek will take the band’s all original members--Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton, and Brad Whitford--to 15 cities into early August.

Says guitarist Joe Perry: "The name Blue Army came from the fact that ‘everyone’ in our audience from the 70’s were wearing blue denim and it looked like a sea of blue, thus The Blue Army."

After the trek, the band will perform on Friday, August 7 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s first-ever Concert for Legends. The concert--part of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival--will pay tribute to the legends of the game on the eve of the Enshrinement for the Class of 2015.

On the “Blue Army Tour 2015,” AEROSMITH will perform a set including their career-defining biggest hits, many of which are highlighted of their upcoming Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 DVD (Eagle Rock Entertainment).

Captured live at Donington Park in Leicestershire, UK, in June 2014 as part of the band’s critically acclaimed Let Rock Rule definitive rock & roll experience, the DVD (release date TBD) features 19 of the band’s most iconic hits including “Love In A Elevator,” “Janie’s Got A Gun,“ “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing,” “Dude Looks Like A Lady,” “Walk This Way,” “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion” and more.

Tour dates:

Sat 6/13
Glendale, AZ
Gila River Arena

Wed 6/24
Evansville, IN
The Ford Center

Sat 6/27
Durant, OK
Choctaw Casino Event Center

Tue 6/30
Hidalgo, TX
State Farm Arena

Fri 7/3
Stateline, NV
Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys

Tue 7/7
Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl

Fri 7/10
Salinas, CA
Salinas Sports Complex

Mon 7/13
Kelowna, BC
Prospera Place

Thu 7/16
Victoria, BC
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Sun 7/19
Fort McMurray, AB Shell Place at MacDonald Park

Wed 7/22
Cheyenne, WY
Cheyenne Frontier Days

Sat 7/25
Minot, ND
North Dakota State Fair

Tue 7/28
Ridgefield, WA
Amphitheater Northwest

Sat 8/1
Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand Garden Arena

Tue 8/4
Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena

Fri 8/7
Canton, OH
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

In related news, Big Machine Label Group has signed Tyler, who previously confirmed the release of a solo album during a surprise appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Tyler’s first project is expected to be released later this year on Dot Records.

“There was an immediate connection with Scott and Big Machine, and Nashville seems like the perfect segue for a solo project…and Dot Records is the right fit. My earliest influences put me somewhere between the Everly Brothers and the Carter Family and this project is all about me paying homage to my Country roots. I’ve been working with some fucking epic Nashville songwriters, getting my feet wet with their style and groove,” Tyler said.